Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hurray...Water Conservation!!!

by Yaheema Alfonso

My group’s parade, I feel was a total success. My group, Panda, worked extremely hard trying to make our parade the best parade it could have possibly been. I am extremely happy with the finished product of the parade. All of us worked so hard, and it showed in the end.
The main theme of our parade was “Go Green!”, however with a little more depth; the main theme was then specifically transformed into the crucial problem affecting our planet, especially the city of Riverside, Water Conservation. To represent are theme of water conservation, my group members became characters, characters that personified the variations of water shortages facing our world. The different characters represented in our parade were water bottles, driveways, car washes, showers, and water sprinklers. We used these different scenarios because they each contribute to water shortage conflict. For instance, the representation of the water bottle was used because many choose to leave their water bottles half full, and do not recycle. The shower representation was used because it depicted many who refute to take quick showers, therefore, waste water that could have been beneficial in another instant. The water sprinkler was represented through one of my group members to depict the thousands who waste water by leaving their water sprinklers on longer than what is necessary. The driveway and car wash almost had the same setup, washing your car for an unnecessary amount of time, yet the storyline behind the representation was particularly different. Each water conservation character had a story, and each character shared either the bad or the good outlook on water conservation. For example, the bad aspect for the representation of showering was depicting the population who choose to waste water by taking unbelievably long showers. For the water bottle the bad interpretation was not recycling and not finishing up the water, and the good interpretation was drinking up all of the water and recycling the bottle.
All the water conservation characters were categorized with a specific Orisha that they felt would represent their character the best. For example, one of the shower characters used the orisha “Yemanja” to depict her role. One of the driveways used the orisha god “Nana” to depict her scenario. The list goes on and on from then. Each water conservation dancer had fifteen seconds to do their little jig. When the fifteen seconds were over, a transition song played, and the opposing character or the next group of characters performed their routine. I did not really have a routine. I, with the help of my friend basically introduced my group’s parade with a couple of short songs that introduced all the characters in our water conservation parade. It was a cute introduction in my opinion, very subtle, yet an attention grabber. However, the original plan for the parade was to sing each specific characters introduction song before they performed, one by one. Unfortunately, our parade went a little over the six minutes, so the introduction song had to be shortened. My friend and I in order to make the introduction song shorter compiled all the different lyrics together, and sang everything in the beginning. When my group members knew that my friend and I were singing their characters part, they swayed their hands with their part of the song, to demonstrate the role they played in the parade, as it may have not been distinctly obvious. Once the short introduction was done, the dancing began. The first dancers up were the two water bottle representations, followed by the car wash characters, the driveway, the shower, and finally the sprinklers. Once all the water conservation characters were done with their individual dances, all of us moved into a circle with the transition song playing in the background. We ended with a rain dance in the honor of the Orisha “Oxum”, the deity that provides rain. All the group members gathered up in a circle, lifted our arms, and began to sway to the right. While we swayed to the right, we moved our hands in a wavy motion, very graceful in fact. At the count of eight, one of the group members yelled “Eh!” and we all did two turns, with the fast tempo. We would sway to the right, then again at the count of eight, the group member yelled “Eh!” and the two turns proceeded. After the two turns, all the group members piled into the middle of the circle, shook are rain sticks, and yelled “Axe!” at the count of three.
Aside from creating the song lyrics, I also designed the costumes for the parade. Since our theme was Water Conservation, the shirts each person wore were either green to depict the good volume of water conservation, or red to express the severity of each water characters situation. Aside from the shirts, all the group members wore little head-dresses of a water drop attached to a blue streamer. The head-dresses, although they were cute, were also a problem. Not a huge problem, but it was tiresome. Some of the head-dresses fit some of my group member a little too big, or a little too small. So I would have to cut new pieces of streamer, and re-attach the water drop onto the new streamer bands. The process was a bit tiresome; however it was all worth it, because the outcome was exceptional.
I feel that my groups’ parade turned out extremely well. I believe that all of us gave it our all, and showed so much energy and dedication for the performance. We each incorporated a little bit of our flavor to produce a parade that was based on a matter that is affecting our nation today, water shortage. If I could do this assignment again, I would absolutely do it with no hesitation. Performing was so much fun. When we would practice during the week, I remembered feeling embarrassed, because of the looks we would get. Yet, once the big day came, the inner-diva came out, and the energy was there. I embraced the looks and performed all the way. The parade aside from it being an assignment was also a great experience. A lot was learned, and memories were cherished.

1 comment:

  1. Yaheema! The song was hilarious! I wish you al had managed to practice a bit more because it would have helped a lot to have the song be the ONLY soundtrack. You and your friend, along with the entire cast, could have sang all the rhythms you needed and used the iPod to play water noises while you did it. Just needed more time. I asked you all to cut it down because the transitions were not smooth enough, taking up more time than you all had planned. I am glad that you had the experience of making costumes! it is tiresome, but well worth the effort when your group has a well-constructed and planned look, which you all had!
    In your writing above you have accidentally swapped out a few words with their homonyms. Go back and re-read to catch those malapropisms. Your voice is clear and strong; keep it up!
    parade: √
    write-up: √+